ALGARVE TRAVEL GUIDE - PORTUGAL
If you are looking for a holiday hotel, apartment or villa in the Algarve, the following information may help by giving you an overview on the popular destination of the Algarve.
Sun-seekers tend to love the Algarve for its coastline of wonderful sandy beaches and coves which are backed by dramatic golden cliffs. There is always a cooling breeze from the Atlantic Ocean - however high temperatures rise. Inland, you will find forests and cork plantations amongst the hilly countryside whilst the coastline is dotted with smart resorts and old fishing ports where sardines are landed daily and grilled fresh.
With over 3,000 hours of sun a year, it is no wonder that the Algarve is a favourite year round holiday destination, with temperatures ranging from 20°C in January to around 30°C in July and August.
Entertainment comes mainly in purpose built resorts and transformed fishing villages, though golfers would argue there’s only one place for activity - the region’s world-renowned variety of challenging and scenic golf courses dotted all along the coast - from the coastal Salgados Golf Club to the championship courses of Quinta do Lago
is a firm British favourite, and has something for everyone around its attractive marina and two beaches. Shops, bars and restaurants create a lively atmosphere while five 18-hole golf courses nearby cause excitement amongst the sports enthusiasts. This area is well suited for couples, golfers and families alike.Alvor
is popular and at the centre of this resort is the beach, along with a number of shops, bars and first-class restaurants. Here you will find a village charm with a good choice of bars and restaurants.Albufeira
is one of the Algarve’s finest resorts. Backed by cliffs and up into the hills, there are lively bars, restaurants and discos in abundance, plus beautiful beaches galore.
LOCATION OF THE ALGARVE:
The Algarve is the southernmost region of mainland Portugal, incorporating 16 municipalities. The capital is the city of Faro.SERVING AIRPORTS:
Faro airport [FAO] serves the Algarve and is easily reaches by a wide choice of low cost, charter and scheduled flights from most UK airports. All resorts are within 1.5 hour’s drive from Faro.BEACHES IN THE ALGARVE:
The Algarve boasts a breathtaking coastline dotted with rugged coves, sweeping sands and secluded bays. In summer 2008, 48 beaches in the Algarve were awarded Blue Flags, including the popular beaches at Albufeira, Alvor, Gale, Lagos, Monte Gordo, Olhos d’Agua, Oura, Portimao, Quarteira, Quinta do Lago, Rocha, Vale de Lobo and Vilamoura.Praia Gale Beach
In the area of Gale, between Armacao de Pera and Albufeira, you have a great selection of beaches. This area is less developed than neighbouring Albufeira, there are enough beaches here to suit all tastes. Praia da Gale Beach is actually a continuation of the beach at Armacao. The western part is wide and open while the eastern end has more rocky outcrops, wonderful rock formations, caves and grottoes. The rock pools are always a hit with families as the beach here can be quite sheltered.Sao Rafael Beach
Nearest to Albufeira, this is a more open beach with a wide sloping expanse of sand. The waters are usually calm here.Armacoo de Pera Beach
Armacao de Pera may not be the most picturesque resort along the Algarve, but it does have a very welcoming feel and from the resort you have an excellent choice of beaches. The main beach, Praia Grande, is a long expanse of fine sand, backed by the main avenue of the resort. Access is easy - no steps - although parking can be difficult in high season. Armacao has an active fishing population, and you can frequently see fishermen mending their nets along the beach. The eastern stretch of Praia Grande is popular among nature lovers, particularly bird watchers. In the winter the area is a favourite resting ground for migrating birds, particularly flamingoes.Praia da Rocha Beach
The beach at Praia da Rocha is a wonderfully long, hugely wide expanse of fine white sand. The beach is backed by red cliffs that almost glow in the crimson light of the Algarvian sunsets. There are numerous bars and restaurants nestling at the base of the cliffs where you can eat and drink all day long. In fact you could have breakfast and lunch on the beach, shower off using the beach facilities, stay for dinner and even party in the early hours of the morning.Praia da Marinha Beach
This is a “picture perfect” beach. Located between Armacao de Pera and Carvoeiro, Praia da Marinha is a small cove beach that nestles at the base of rocky outcrops. Wide meandering steps take you from the cliff top to the beach below. At high tide the beach is a narrow strip of sand, but at low tide the adjacent coves become accessible. Praia da Marinha is popular with families as there are plenty of rock formations to explore.Alvor Beach
Of all the beaches in the Portimao - Alvor area, Praia de Alvor has everything necessary for a quality beach holiday. The beach is several kilometres of the finest white sand and forms an immense natural bay with views across to neighbouring Lagos. Inland you can see the Monchique Mountains and the quaint village of Alvor. There are sunbeds and shades for hire and watersports are available. The beach is dotted with restaurants, many of them of excellent quality, serving fresh fish.Lagos Beaches
The town of Lagos is blessed with many wonderful beaches. You can choose the wide ample sands of Meia Praia to the east of Lagos or the secluded coves dotted along the cliffs to the west of the town. Praia da Batata - right by the Fort Ponta da Banderia near to the town centre is very popular - although small - with fantastic views across the bay to Alvor, Praia da Rocha and Carvoeiro.Praia da Luz Beach
The beachfront at Praia da Luz has a lovely pedestrian walkway and the beach itself is a crescent of fine white sand. Access to the beach is very direct, and there are several beach restaurants and snack bars to choose from right on the beach and some small shops selling souvenirs, beach gear and some local handicrafts. A popular beach with families as the sea is usually calm here and the atmosphere is laid back and relaxed.SHOPPING IN THE ALGARVE:
You can buy fine rural handicrafts, wicker baskets, fabrics and ceramics in most markets and boutiques. Try the open-air markets of Lagos
, Olhao, Sao Bras and Tavira
, where you can browse the stalls for Port wine, deluxe “Arraiolos” carpets and “Azulejos” - beautiful hand-painted tiles.EATING OUT IN THE ALGARVE:
The Algarve’s cuisine has developed in two directions. An impressive variety of dishes using fish and shellfish on the one side, and a varied assortment of meat and game dishes on the other. Outside culinary influences are few and so traditional home cooking has taken on a vital significance, with recipes passed down through families and the ages.
Chicken Piri-Piri [barbecued chicken in chilli sauce] is a well-known Portuguese dish. For those looking for something less fiery, try a variety of fish dishes - Peixe, and shellfish Mariscos. The most famous local speciality is Bacalhua [sun-dried or salted cod] which can be served fresh or baked in the oven. Alternatively try Arroz de Marisco, a delicious rice and fish dish, or Caldeirada de Peixe [a warming fish stew].
Portugal’s most popular export is Port wine, from Porto in the north. However local white and red wines are also very good especially Vinho Verde. If you fancy something with a little “kick” - try Aguardente, which the Portuguese refer to as firewater.
Telephone us, send an enquiry
, or search online for discount flights, hotels, apartments and villas in the holiday resort of the Algarve in Portugal
By its very nature much of the information in our travel guides is subject to change at short notice and travellers are urged to verify information on which they are relying with the relevant authorities. Corona Holidays [UK] Limited cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or inconvenience to any person as a result of information contained above.